evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -kyü-ˌāt \
evacuated; evacuating

Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of : empty
2 : to discharge from the body as waste : void
3 : to remove something (such as gas or water) from especially by pumping
4a : to remove especially from a military zone or dangerous area
b : to withdraw from military occupation of
c : vacate sense 1 were ordered to evacuate the building

intransitive verb

1 : to withdraw from a place in an organized way especially for protection
2 : to pass urine or feces from the body

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Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ i-​ˈva-​kyə-​ˌwā-​tiv How to pronounce evacuate (audio) , -​kyü-​ˌā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for evacuate



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Examples of evacuate in a Sentence

People who live along the coast are being evacuated as the hurricane approaches. During World War II, children were evacuated from London to the country. Residents were ordered to evacuate the building. Residents have been ordered to evacuate.
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Recent Examples on the Web The area saw up to 7 inches of rain in about 36 hours, forcing more than 10,000 people to evacuate and contributing to the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams. Renny Vandewege, Forbes, 26 May 2021 The cult never made more than local headlines until the past few months, when Carlson and 14 of her followers were supposedly forced to evacuate and fled to Hawaii. Leora Yashari, refinery29.com, 7 May 2021 Things get more urgent when Wheatley’s body washes up on the shore and, later, Miller overhears a plan to evacuate the girls in the middle of the night and send them back to Germany. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, 26 Mar. 2021 Zamarripa and volunteers immediately began knocking on doors to evacuate residents and find the source of the gas leak. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Mar. 2021 The riot that day forced Congress to evacuate and resulted in the deaths of a U.S. Capitol Police officer and four other people. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, 16 Feb. 2021 Cruz and Hawley continued with their objections even after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing representatives to evacuate and causing 5 deaths, including the death of a Capitol police officer. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 12 Jan. 2021 After 70,000 people evacuate and nearly 1,500 structures are lost, Tad Jones ends up the only casualty of what comes to be called the CZU Lightning Complex in the most rampant fire year California has ever seen. Michael Paterniti Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Devin Gordon Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Reginald Dwayne Betts Rowan Ricardo Phillips Wesley Morris Ismail Muhammad Anthony Giardina, New York Times, 24 Dec. 2020 Residents were advised to evacuate to a Red Cross shelter at the civic center in Plaquemine, a city in the parish. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 21 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evacuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of evacuate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for evacuate

Middle English, to draw off morbid humors, from Latin evacuatus, past participle of evacuare to empty, from e- + vacuus empty

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Time Traveler for evacuate

Time Traveler

The first known use of evacuate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for evacuate

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Evacuate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evacuate. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for evacuate



English Language Learners Definition of evacuate

: to remove (someone) from a dangerous place
: to leave (a dangerous place)
medical : to pass (solid waste) from your body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈva-kyə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Kids Definition of evacuate

1 : to leave or cause to leave a place of danger Residents evacuated the burning building.
2 : to make empty : empty out
3 : to discharge waste matter from the body


evac·​u·​ate | \ i-ˈvak-yə-ˌwāt How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \
evacuated; evacuating

Medical Definition of evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to remove the contents of evacuate an abscess
2 : to discharge (as urine or feces) from the body as waste : void

intransitive verb

: to pass urine or feces from the body

Other Words from evacuate

evacuative \ -​ˌwāt-​iv How to pronounce evacuate (audio) \ adjective


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